Meet your guide at a centrally-located meeting point, then set out from Sariyer or Kabataş pier to join the bustling, colorful boat traffic on the Bosphorus Strait. Pass the deep Tarabya Bay, where an exclusive marina is edged by grand homes and hotels, then see the distinctive wooden houses at Yenikoy.
Learn why Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror built the dramatic Rumeli Fortress, whose stone parapets run all the way to the water’s edge. Cruise past two dramatic Ottoman palaces—Dolmabahçe and Beylerbeyi—where sultans lived in luxurious style until the end of the empire, and take in the ancient lighthouse that stands guard at the southern end of the strait.
Make a bonus visit to the Spice Market, where you’ll get a taste of everyday life in Istanbul. Browse vivid displays of spices and dried herbs, ripe fruit, flowers, produce and a remarkable variety of aphrodisiacs. Finish the day at the market, which is convenient to Old City restaurants, cafes and sights.